‘Ray Parks rule’ meant to protect spirit of draft, Marcial clarifies
It is sometimes referred to as the “Ray Parks Jr. rule” and it has nothing to do with the PBA dictating the terms of an amateur standout’s career.
PBA commissioner Willie Marcial clarified on Saturday that the rule that gives the PBA the power to ban players who do not apply for the draft within two years of their eligibility was authored to “protect the spirit” of the draft and not to limit the options of amateurs.
“It’s an offshoot of Parks’ case,” Marcial told the Inquirer. “After he became eligible for the draft [in 2014], remember he did not apply for the draft. The PBA realized that it could be a concern in the future where players would skip drafts to avoid certain teams picking them or wait for teams they like to have a shot at picking them.”
“We want to protect the spirit of the draft. That’s why if a controversy arises, we look for solutions to prevent the same thing from happening again,” he added.
It can be recalled that the PBA also authored a rule barring teams owning the No. 1 pick from trading that right, this time a spinoff of the Christian Standhardinger issue. A controversy erupted in 2017 when powerhouse San Miguel Beer was able to acquire the talented Filipino-German after trading for Kia’s No. 1 draft rights.
A wave of criticisms washed over social media over the past two days when it was reported that Thirdy Ravena sought the league’s blessing to play in Japan. Ravena, the former Ateneo star who would have been a top pick in a draft class, recently signed with the San-en NeoPhoenix in the Japanese B.League and discussed his plans with the PBA.
“We don’t want to stand in the way of any player who wants to play elsewhere. Everyone is free to choose his career path. If they feel the PBA is not for them, then it’s OK,” Marcial said.
The commissioner explained that the spirit of the rule is not to dictate players’ options but to give the PBA a whip to crack in case there is an obvious attempt to circumvent the rookie draft’s protocols.
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